MacDonald’s Ranch Pumpkin Patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

Fall is my favorite time of year. The weather FINALLY cools down in the desert making the nights and mornings bearable. Not to mention, my birthday month is on the horizon and everything smells like pumpkin spice and cinnamon. What’s not to love?

We recently took the kids to the MacDonald’s Ranch Pumpkin Patch – it was our first time at the ranch and honestly the best pumpkin patch we’ve visited. From the moment we arrived, I had a great feeling this would be great. There were so many activities for the kids to do! Pony rides, gold digging, lasso learning, horseshoe throwing, petting zoo and a huge hay maze that they had all to themselves!

The gates close at 5pm and the patch officially ends at 6pm. When we were there, I looked at the clock and realized it was 5:45 and we hadn’t even picked out pumpkins yet! We looked around and couldn’t figure out where they were until one of the ranchers told us we had to take a hay ride over to the patch. Had to? Yes, please!

We jumped on board a mule-drawn hayride and off we went. Our ‘driver’ Gary was so incredibly nice, patient and talked to us all about the ranch. I call him patient because 5 minutes into the hayride back to the main entrance, I realized I had left my purse down at the pumpkin patch and he had to take us aaaaaall the way back. Did I mention by this time it was well over 6pm, which was their closing time. What can I say, I’m a mom without a memory these days.

If you get the opportunity to go to a pumpkin patch this year TAKE YOUR KIDS TO MACDONALD’S RANCH. I’m literally shouting it because I loved this place so much. We’ll be back year after year, for sure.

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

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Nolan was the best this evening. He walked around with a huge smile on his face and pointed at everything he saw. When we got to the pumpkin patch part, he literally just sat down in the patch and watched his sister and brother pick out the perfect pumpkin. Dare I say, he was the cutest pumpkin in the entire patch? ūüôā

macdonalds pumpkin patch

Watching the goats eat dinner.

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog
macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog
macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

We had the hay maze to ourselves! It was so fun to watch them run through the maze and figure out how to get out. And if Ryan and I are being honest, it was a nice way to enjoy a moment of silence while your littles are contained by barrels of hay.

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch
macdonalds pumpkin patch

Do you think they look alike? Nolan is a spitting image of my brothers but I think he’s got a lot of Ryan in him too.
macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog
macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

If you’re wondering, no – we did not get the $9.00 pumpkins. If you know Ryan Cross, then you know we had to wait until the kids found pumpkins that fit in the smallest $4.00 hole.

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

Thank you to MacDonald’s Ranch for hosting us this year. We are so thankful for the opportunity to come experience your ranch. If I could do it all over again, I would allow for more time to spend here – there is seriously so much for kids to do. We only had one hour, so I would recommend two at least. Enjoy!

The Scottsdale Train Park

scottsdale train park - mom blogger

It was the perfect day for a perfect day. 2016 is looking like it will be a great one. Yesterday, we took the kids to the McCormick-Stillman Train Park and finally used the leftover tickets we had from our last visit, over a year ago!

scottsdale train park - mom blogger

scottsdale train park - mom blogger

scottsdale train park mom blog

Nolan was super chill, per usual. I swear, this boy is always happy. He must know that it makes our lives so much easier. Or, this is just a glimpse into how his personality will be. Either way, we love his little attitude so much. I can’t even imagine life without him.

scottsdale train park - mom blogger

scottsdale train park - mom blogger

Ryan took one for the team and squeezed his little booty into one of these train cars. Last time we were here, Colton had the biggest tantrum and wouldn’t get on the train. This year he was all about it. They change so much in one year, don’t they?

scottsdale train park - mom blogger

scottsdale train park mom blog

scottsdale train park - mom blogger

At the train park, they have a historic train car set up like a museum that you can walk through. The kids loved this! Kelsey got a kick out of how old the sleeping and dining rooms looked and how “little” the hallways were. When we signed the visitor guest book I asked her what she wanted to say. Let’s say, “We loved this train because it is so old” – and so we did.

scottsdale train park mom blog

Pictures, lately.

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I actually thought I would have more time on my hands than I do. Being on maternity leave, I had all of these grand plans to redecorate the house, practice my photography, learn graphic design, get my Christmas shopping done (ha!). But really, in between nursing, napping, doctor’s appointments and snuggling with my little baby every chance I get, I haven’t had¬†the energy.

That said, I have had some mini accomplishments. I’ve cooked and baked, I bought Kelsey her much-requested Malifecent Halloween kids costume, got to every doctor’s appointment on time (a win!), enjoyed morning sunrises with Nolan and a warm cup of coffee, managed to grocery shop with a newborn, and I’m working with Kelsey’s school to help plan their Kindergarten fall party. Doesn’t sound like much … but truth is, I need to be okay with taking it easy.

I tend to¬†forget how many days (weeks?) your body needs to heal itself from delivery. I’m still recovering from labor and need to come to terms¬†with the fact that not every day is going to be filled with “things to do.” Also, it’s day 13. Thirteen, Steph. Less than 2 weeks since I delivered this 10lb miracle.

I am really¬†enjoying this precious time at home with my babe.¬†Time I’ll never get back. Time I’m so grateful for. Time to heal. Time to bond. And time to just sit back, relax and enjoy this incredible ride. Aaaand if that means¬†filling my day with baby kisses, Sex & the City reruns, naps, pumping sessions and more time invested washing baby bottles than washing my hair, so be it!

Pomegranate Cafe with my Girls

Thank you¬†to my college roommate and dear friend, Sarah for making me try a restaurant that is known as a ‘vegan place’. It’s really¬†just a super healthy spot and we loved it. Kelsey’s favorite part was when our smoothies came out. Mine was orange, moms was bright purple and Kelsey’s was “pinkalicious.” These two make for great lunch dates, I tell ya.

Pomegranate cafe

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pomegranate cafe 3Every single frame is crooked on this wall. I wanted to scream.

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Zoo Days in January

We consider ourselves lucky to live in Arizona in the ‘winter’. Mostly because our days are filled with 70 degree weather.¬†Come July¬†through September, we’ll be singing a different tune, and we’ll¬†be jealous of all you East Coasters.

This morning we took the kids to the zoo. We fed the giraffes, watched the lions sleep, saw some crazy monkeys up close and camped out on the worlds smallest picnic table to eat lunch. By the time we got home, both kids were sleeping in the car. That, my friends, is an afternoon success!

phoenix zoo phoenix zoo phoenix zoo phoenix zoo phoenix zoo phoenix zoo phoenix zooLook who wanted out of his stroller to walk around! Dad had him in one hand and that bulky stroller in the other. He was so proud. Colton that is.

phoenix zoo

phoenix zoo

We’re not sure if¬†we broke the zoo¬†rules, but we brought a loaf of bread and fed nearly ever duck in the place. She loved this part.

phoenix zoo

phoenix zoo

He was more excited about the goats¬†in the¬†petting zoo than¬†he looks.¬†Meanwhile, Kelsey went¬†around with a brush and brushed¬†every goat.¬†Making sure “they had¬†good hair for school.”

phoenix zoo

As we started to wind down for lunch, the kids took to the play area¬†to get all of their silly’s out. We’re getting in the stage where they start to play with each other.¬†Ryan and I love it. Just watching these two and their imaginations soar is the coolest thing.

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phoenix zoo

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See how seriously she is here? That’s because (two!) boys came over and knocked down her “sand tower”. She immediately put her hands on her hips and told them that “that’s what¬†Pig Won’t does” – it’s a book we’re reading. Boys …

phoenix zooThank you January for the great weather. We sure enjoyed you today.

The Parenting Hat: Weekend with One

When you have two kids and you get the opportunity to only watch one, you suddenly realize that having one is a piece of cake. This weekend, Kelsey was at the cabin with my in-laws. Let me say that part again. This weekend. Yes, the entire weekend we only had one child to look after.

It was so relaxing. When Colton napped. We napped. When I cleaned, no one messed it up. We watched TV whenever we wanted. I painted my nails (and had time for them to dry!) We went on a date. I had dinner with a girlfriend. And, Colton got one-on-one attention all weekend long.

And even though it was super relaxing and quiet,¬†we miss our little¬†diva pants so¬†much!¬†I can’t wait to see her this afternoon. In the meantime, Colton and I are going to go outside and finish our game of airplane. He looks totally excited about it, don’t you agree?

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The Weekend Hat: Butterfly Wonderland

There’s a new attraction in Scottsdale: The Butterfly Wonderland. We went this weekend to check it out. This wonderland is more like a Butterfly Museum, featuring anything and everything you wanted to know about these cool creatures.

There’s a 3D movie (14 minutes, perfect length for the kids) and¬†indoor rainforest featuring the largest butterfly pavilion in America. In their rainforest area, you can¬†walk around while hundreds of butterflies fly all around. Watch your step and make sure to bring your camera.

There is also a mini aquarium (you can pet stingrays), ant farm and honey bee exhibit and a metamorphosis gallery. I recommend you go to check it out. My three-year old really enjoyed it and kids everywhere were having a blast. We spent about $50 on entry and stayed from 9am to 11am.

butterfly wonderland

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Checking out the brochure before we go in.

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You can actually watch the metamorphosis of a butterfly. Unreal.

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butterfly wonderland

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Mom, look. A butterfly landed on you. And there is one on dad.

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Here she is. Determined to pet a butterfly in the pavilion open area.

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Almost touched one.

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Dancing with them. Notice her shirt? That was planned.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAColton spotted one.

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Did you know butterflies taste with their feet. Us either.

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Beautiful creatures were flying around everywhere.

The Family Hat: Weekend Farmers Market

farmers market farmers marketplants dog aunt pamplants kelsey saucespam and kelseyThis weekend, we took Auntie Pam to the Farmer’s Market. It’s going to be a 100 degree day so we made sure to get there right when it opened. Kelsey was most impressed with the Gelato truck. We got tamales, salsa, handheld pies, AZ ice pops and jammed out to a local guitarist. Not gonna lie, I’m not ready for this hot summer weather. Can’t it be spring just a little bit longer?